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Topics - gmac

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All Things Food / Pickles and other fermented foods
« on: July 23, 2013, 02:07:09 PM »
I'm making a batch of kosher dills today and I thought maybe we should have a pickle thread.  Since we moved, this is the first time we've been able to have a big garden and although the weeds have been a problem, i'm looking forward to pickling cucumbers, hot peppers and green beans.  Plus I over planted my tomatoes big time so I'm going to be needing some good salsa recipes and I may even try tomato juice but we shall see.
Anyone else have anything going into brine or vinegar these days?

Equipment and Software / Star-San Dependence
« on: June 24, 2013, 10:02:52 PM »
I've been using Star-San exclusively now for a couple years.  I'm starting to wonder if I should try a different sanitizer in order to avoid any sort of resistance development with the bacteria in my system.  I have a keg of IPA that has a distinct phenolic flavour reminiscent of smoked malt and it must be an infection but I can't say for sure that I did everything perfect when I kegged the beer so I can't really blame the sanitizer.
Do you rotate your sanitizer?  Should I try iodophor or something different just to keep the bacteria guessing?

Ingredients / Hop stand bitterness
« on: June 17, 2013, 04:23:57 PM »
I've been doing some heavy late hop additions and leaving them stand for about 30 mins before chilling. I'm finding a lot of extra hop bitterness that seems much greater than I anticipated. Does anyone else have this issue?  Should I chill down a bit first and then hop?
Last batch wad 10 gals and I added a 3 oz blend of Pacific Jade and Galaxy. Beer tastes good but very bitter and a bit rough which doesn't surprise me given the Galaxy.

Beer Travel / DTW actually has one good beer!
« on: June 03, 2013, 10:26:04 PM »
I fly through Detroit a lot and the beer selection in this airport, where I write this right now is terrible. But I just discovered the Heineken Lounge has Brooklyn Lager and Bell's Two-Hearted in bottles. Its a small positive in this huge negative.

Beer Recipes / German Pils - hop and malt questions
« on: June 03, 2013, 05:32:40 PM »
I'm going to do a 20 gal batch of German pilsner (or as close as I can get) but I've got a couple questions.  I was thinking of the following:

30 lbs Weyerman Pils
5 lbs Vienna malt
75 g Magnum @ 60
100 g Hallertau @ 10
WLP Mexican Lager yeast (3 vials pitched to a 5 gal generic "lager" for a starter then all of the yeast harvested for this beer.  I'm sure that some would suggest 830 or 833 but I like the Mexican Lager, seems very clean in the few lagers I've made.)
I'm looking for a crisp beer that fits into the upper end of the bitterness range, maybe in the 35 IBU area.
My usual efficiency is about 80% although I've not done 20 gals at once before. 
Water is planned to be 1/2 RO and 1/2 tap.  My tap is fairly hard although I don't have actual #'s in front of me. 

My questions are:  Will the Vienna make it too sweet?  I don't have Munich on hand so I'm going with the Vienna unless you all talk me out of it.  The other option is 100% pils (I have cara-pils and C15 on hand but I assume crystal has no place in a pils).  I am looking for a bit of complexity which is why I would add Munich if I had it on hand.

Are the finishing hops enough?  Should I mix them up with other hops or do more additions.  I have Tettnang and some older Saaz on hand.  Was considering 50/50 Hallertau/Tettnang at 10 and maybe the same amount again at flameout. 

The Pub / Amber Beer Glasses
« on: May 28, 2013, 02:50:04 AM »
Maybe the Pub isn't the place for this because it is actually beer and homebrew related but does anyone know if they make amber beer glasses?  Now that summer has sort of started here in Ontario (and I say "Sort of" because there was a good amount of frost this morning), I will be spending a lot more time outside.  I do have some plastic glasses but I'd live to find amber coloured glass glasses.  I just like drinking my homebrew out of actual glass but I don't appreciate the skunkiness that I get after 30 seconds in direct sunlight. 
Anyone have a good suggestion for skunk proof glassware?

Equipment and Software / Canner
« on: May 09, 2013, 10:14:28 PM »
I found a guy selling a two head canner for $6k.  It's over $20K new.  I know I don't need it, I know I can't afford it but I know I want it.  The idea of canning my own homebrew is really, really appealing.  I just wish that there were enough other homebrewers around here to make it worthwhile.
So, talk me out of spending too much on this thing. 

Ingredients / Ginger and Belgian Style Yeast
« on: May 06, 2013, 01:37:40 PM »
I want to make a ginger beer with a pronounced ginger flavour. I've read the threads on when to add and how much and I think I've settled on adding the juice sqeezed from 4 ounces in the last 10 mins of the boil as I want flavour but not heat.
But, I'm not sure of what yeast to use. I have a large pitch of the Wyeast Belgian Canadian (Unibroue) yeast. Do you think the ginger would clash with the phenols in this yeast?

Ingredients / Cloudy Maris Otter - how to clear my EIPA
« on: April 18, 2013, 07:44:07 PM »
A couple years ago someone (Bluesman???) made a comments about Munton's MO giving him cloudy beers.  I've got 10 gals of English IPA made with WLP007 and Muntin MO (and a bit of C40) that just will not clear up.  I make a lot of APA's with this yeast and they usually drop pretty clear pretty fast but this one just won't clear even with gelatin.  It's been cold crashed for 2 weeks now. 

So, short of filtering or waiting since I can't do one and am too thirsty to do the other, any idea what would help this drop clear?

Yeast and Fermentation / Can you over pitch a lager?
« on: March 29, 2013, 02:57:26 AM »
I've got a 5 gal amber lager with WLP833 sitting out for a D-rest right now. 
I'm going to do another lager right away, probably a 1.060ish bock of some sort.  Should I just re-pitch the entire yeast cake?  Mr. Malty says I should pitch about 230 ml of yeast from a re-pitch but I have no idea how to factor in how "clean" my re-pitch is.  I wasn't planning on trying to wash it or anything.  I would expect that there are maybe 2 cups of slurry in the bottom of the bucket, depending on how much liquid I have to use to get it re-suspended to pour.

So, long way to get to my question.  Is there any downside to just re-pitching the entire yeast cake?  I was going to chill to about 45 or so and then pitch.

General Homebrew Discussion / AHA GC Election
« on: March 25, 2013, 04:16:57 PM »
Anyone else having problems getting in to vote?  I know I have an account but it's not working, I've requested a user name and password change and that's not working.  So, screw it. 

Beer Recipes / British Summer Ale
« on: March 25, 2013, 03:36:57 PM »
I'm thinking of trying something that falls into this somewhat unofficial style.  Anyone have any suggestions?  A friend asked me to make them some beer and I said that they had to make it and I'd help them.  They want something "lighter" in colour so I thought about a blond ale or maybe this style. 
Is there a difference?  If so, what is it?

First thought at a recipe (and this hasn't run through Beersmith yet).

9 lbs Maris Otter
1 lb wheat - just cause
1 oz EKG @ 60
1/2 oz EKG @10
1/2 oz Fruity hop of some sort (Mosaic, citra, amarillo, cascade???) @ 10
10 mins could become whirlpool hops

Want to keep it pretty simple for the first attempt.
No idea how this would work but what I've read seems to mention some fruity hop character and not all classic English hops.  Sort of a hybrid US/English hopping regime.

Hop Growing / Just ordered my rhizomes
« on: March 24, 2013, 04:07:36 PM »
You've all inspired me to order some rhizomes.  I ordered 4 Centennial, 4 Fuggle and 4 Magnum from Left Fields Hop Farms out in BC.  We shall have to see how things go but after reading Denny's comment about 1 plant, I'm thinking perhaps I was a bit ambitious. 

Can't wait to start harvesting my non-dry, non-stale hop cones ('cause I don't want to get caught up in the wet/fresh debate).

The Pub / Bitter Brew
« on: March 08, 2013, 05:05:21 PM »
Anyone read this?  I've been listening to the audiobook.  Interesting.  Not as much about beer, more about how dysfunctional the Busch family was. 

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